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Matthew Randall, York College of Pennsylvania - IT Etiquette in the Workplace


Albany, NY – In today's Academic Minute, Matthew Randall of York College of Pennsylvania explains the new set of challenges information technology is posing to college graduates as they enter the workplace.

Matthew Randall is Executive Director of York College's Center for Professional Excellence.

About Matthew Randall

Matthew Randall - IT Etiquette in the Workplace

Over the past two years, the Center for Professional Excellence at York College of Pennsylvania has tried to identify how well recent college graduates were prepared for the professional world. One glaring issue: IT etiquette. Our survey of more than 400 business leaders and HR professionals shows that technology is beginning to impede on professionalism in the workplace.

There is a tipping point when technology takes over and becomes more important than interpersonal relationships, and I think we might be there. Some of these problems in the workplace are the same things we are seeing in the classroom. Students and employees alike are text messaging, surfing the Internet, and responding to cell phone calls at inappropriate times. In 2009, 44.8 percent of respondents said they were experience a decrease in IT etiquette problems. Just last year, that number fell to 10.7 percent.

As social media continues to gain acceptance as a business and productivity tool, companies will face greater challenges with helping employees strike the right balance between leveraging the technology to drive the business forward versus using it as an extended mental break to escape from the pressures of work. This will be especially challenging for today's college graduates, who continue to enter the workforce with poor IT etiquette habits that they've cultivated throughout their academic experience. Students with this always connected, but never focused' mentality will struggle to provide their future employers with the attention and productivity gains that are required in today's marketplace.

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